Name: Richelle Lauren Bussell
From: Tempe, AZ
Light at the end of the tunnel
I want to begin this essay as transparent as possible and allow a glimmer of hope in the minds of anyone currently struggling with addiction and looking for a word, a life story, a change in someone else’s life that will allow your eyes to open more and more to the possibility of change and sobriety. The first question is; Why do you believe that we as a nation are dealing with an addiction crisis? Before COVID-19 and the global pandemic, we have had a silent pandemic on the lose that includes drugs and alcohol. This disease can also imitate a virus because of its spread within all communities with no regards to human life. This virus is as deadly as any disease and as difficult or impossible to cure as any. It has taken countless lives and has been proven to be handed down generation to generation, with a focus for any social class but especially those of impoverished and poor communities. Offering an outlet to those who choose to take this route to alleviate any pain, rejection, mental illness, hurt, family issues, rape, molestation, the list goes on. Addiction has been known to fill the households of those with the least to gain and the most to lose. It has no bearing on your income or lack thereof. We are dealing with it head-on in our current state of affairs because we are unable to hide in plain sight anymore. With so many families being home now, and able to see what they possibly weren’t able to they are now head-on with the demon of addiction with nowhere to run or hide. Being in forefront of the nation’s minds at this moment has allowed so many to see it for what it actually is a national crisis.
The consequences to any individual are devastating, to say the least. This monster is the number one reason for the destruction and death of families and the family structure. Addiction I have seen in my life, and that of family and know how much it can affect one’s values and make them question anything that they may have been taught in a lifetime. I have seen addiction rewrite your value system to gain the moment in time for drug or alcohol use. Anything to make that moment more important than reality can become your own personal world in active addiction. Losing time, money, morals, along with self-esteem, and a need or want to be alive is the ultimate price of so many addicts the longer you’re in it. Our society also takes on the brunt force of addiction by offering a home for it, a nurturing so to speak lane for people to flock to and hide in whenever they need it. Drugs and Alcohol are just the beginning of what emotional damage happens in addiction. Society has become numb and has created a pillow or fall back for the addict and made light of addiction in some scenarios, but there is also a side of society that is part of the fight against addiction and not afraid to roll up their sleeves and jump in head first to aid in the progress of hope and change in sobriety.
We can remedy the crisis on an individual basis by being educated and not afraid of the ugly reality of addiction. Without knowing what you’re facing the actuality of the crisis could potentially open the door to fear of the unknown and ultimately the demise of change. Being aware of the options for change and sobriety that are readily available allow others to see that there is hope. As a society, we need to be a part of the communities that are building and working towards the battle against addiction. Being a part of volunteering our time and finances to helping aid others to ensure that value and love are represented to those struggling so they are aware of the love that still exists in this society. I believe that we can make a positive change if we only decide to first educate, then participate, and finally structure and implement plans for sober living environments the promotion of healthy and sober lives, and the involvement of us all. We need each other more than ever and we can’t fight this fight without compassion and understanding. I hope that society is reminded how important it is for us not to turn a blind eye any longer, but to choose to be a part of making a difference in the lives of those struggling with addictions and the families.